I thank God for you every day. Many of you are on my personal prayer list so I have the privilege of praying for you nearly every day. I am always impressed at how you connect faith and life. Your trust of Jesus in the midst of the chaos of life inspires my faith. Keep showing and sharing the kingdom of God with everyone you meet by your open dependence upon our Lord.
2019 appears to be well on the way to a breakout year. You have a Church Council that is working on some tough issues. We have committees that have a personal sense of direction and focus. We have deeply committed volunteers who follow God’s call to serve others in Jesus’ name. You are making a difference.
This is also a breakout year because in the midst of our holding fast to Lutheran traditions we are also recognizing and working on how we reach in towards each other and how we reach out to our neighbors. We have to do both well. I am thankful to the folks who continue the tradition of visiting other members of the church. I am thankful to the folks who are dreaming up new ways to engage folks outside our community of faith through social media and new group formation. Our work is to make sure every person finds a place of belonging here among us as they grow into mature disciples of Jesus.
Please look through this newsletter with a calendar in hand. Please get on your calendar the dates, times, and places of events in which you want to participate.
See you at worship,
When company is coming, we take time to prepare for their arrival. The best company is coming, so we prepare for the arrival of our Savior. Jesus is coming. Prophets talked about it as a promise centuries before it happened. John the Baptist will proclaim him and call us to prepare our hearts and lives to receive him. A virgin will say “yes” to God’s will for her life. Special stars in the night sky will illuminate the way to the manger of our Lord. Heaven itself will announce the birth of Jesus to those who God makes worthy. All of it in preparation for a life that will be lived so that our lives experience God’s, steadfast love.
Take time this season. Take time to prepare your houses, your meals, your gifts, and…your…hearts to receive God’s blessing coming in Christ Jesus. And may you have a very, merry Christmas.
We are moving into one of the healthiest times of the year. Did you know that November is good for your health? Why do you suppose that is? It’s because we celebrate Thanksgiving, and giving thanks improves our lives and livelihood in a variety of ways. We read in scripture, “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good…” Paul begins his letters to Rome, Corinth, Philippi, Colossae, Thessalonica with a word of thanks to God for the believers in each city. Jesus prays his thanks to God just before raising Lazarus. Our worship services each Sunday give thanks to God for God’s many blessings. All this giving thanks has an effect on us.
Thanksgiving opens doors for more relationships; improves physical health; improves psychological health; enhances empathy, reduces aggression, improves sleep, improves self-esteem, and increases mental strength. And if you combine Thanksgiving with service you have a prescription for glimpsing the kingdom of God breaking into our lives.
We have just such an opportunity Saturday, November 17. There will be an all-day party going. At least four churches will meet at 3:30 p.m. at the Gibsonville Elementary School old gym for pack-a-thon packing meals to help the hungry. At 6:00 p.m. we will all sit down and eat together (drop off a covered dish at the church) at Gibsonville United Methodist Church, then worship at 7:00 p.m. giving thanks to God. You are welcome to attend part or all of the events of the day. I do hope you will take advantage of the opportunity, improve your health, and catch a glimpse of the kingdom of God.
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good. I thank God for you. You are special; you are loved; you are making a difference.
Keep growing the kingdom,